Pest Patrol

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Having a pest patrol program at work on your computer is much like having a real-life exterminator on hand. It can kill bugs that pose a current problem as well as eliminate sources of potential problems. Ordinary antivirus software is great for step one, but step two--guarding against future attacks--is different. It's easy for antivirus software to become outdated if it's not regularly updated.

A pest patrol software package fights a war on multiple fronts. First, it scans your multiple drives, including your hard disk and any external drives such as ZIPs or floppies, and destroys lurking evildoers. It then scans your applications, which may run from desktop editing and publishing programs to the Microsoft Office suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.) and weeds out pests hiding in those files as well.

Purchasing a Pest Patrol Remedy

A lot of people balk at the idea of spending upwards of a hundred bucks on a pest patrol program, but this can prove to be a major mistake. For one thing, you certainly don't need to spend that much for an adequate software pack; programs start as low as 30 dollars. More importantly, the cost of not performing regular drive sweeps is exponentially higher than the 30, 40, or 50 bucks you'd spend for total peace of mind.

Take your PC into any support center and ask what it would cost to restore it to normal. Typically, repair shops will charge a basic 100-dollar fee (if you're lucky) for a general diagnostic scan to pinpoint the problem. If there are hardware upgrades to be made as a result of damaged drives, you're already looking at a three-figure solution. Add to that the cost of labor, which may run anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars an hour, and you can quickly end up in over your head in repair costs when a 30-dollar pest-eliminator would have done the trick.

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